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Author Topic: Hobbies: Etsy nixes magical goods  (Read 2481 times)

carillion

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Etsy nixes magical goods
« on: June 21, 2015, 03:27:38 pm »
Are good witches so thin on the ground that people have to resort to buying over-priced spells and charms online? I would have thought that was a niche market well filled by the neo-pagans today. Certainly the stores I've seen were over-priced enough. And of course a 'spell caster' usually lurks nearby to fill the 'metaphysical' demands of the buyer.

People are just lazy ( credulity is another subject).

I would scream discrimination but frankly, this probably cuts down on outright fraud. Or to put it another way, the person buying the christian charms are not as protected from getting ripped off even though they would be put to the test to prove what they bought worked.

http://www.theguardian.com/money/shortcuts/2015/jun/21/etsy-casts-out-vendors-magickal-merchandise
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 02:05:30 pm by RandallS »

beachglass

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Re: Etsy nixes magical goods
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2015, 07:34:42 pm »
Quote from: carillion;176329
I would scream discrimination but frankly, this probably cuts down on outright fraud. Or to put it another way, the person buying the christian charms are not as protected from getting ripped off even though they would be put to the test to prove what they bought worked.

 
To be honest I almost skipped over the post on Raise the Horns about the same subject; it's hard enough finding actual handmade items on Etsy these days. At first glance anything they can do to filter out the other stuff seems a plus.

However if the result of the policy is that shop A can't sell you a crystal and say it's thought to protect against X, but shop B can sell you a medal of Saint Y that protects against same, then it's definitely discriminatory, and not against the people buying medals.

Even if Etsy's position is that all of these spells/amulets/magical supplies are "rip-offs," allowing the sale of Christian items/services while banning equivalent Pagan ones does not send the message "we don't care about Christians getting ripped off." It's saying "the Christian ones are not the rip-offs" (whatever their actual intention is).
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carillion

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Re: Etsy nixes magical goods
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2015, 08:14:18 pm »
Quote from: beachglass;176351
To be honest I almost skipped over the post on Raise the Horns about the same subject; it's hard enough finding actual handmade items on Etsy these days. At first glance anything they can do to filter out the other stuff seems a plus.

However if the result of the policy is that shop A can't sell you a crystal and say it's thought to protect against X, but shop B can sell you a medal of Saint Y that protects against same, then it's definitely discriminatory, and not against the people buying medals.

Even if Etsy's position is that all of these spells/amulets/magical supplies are "rip-offs," allowing the sale of Christian items/services while banning equivalent Pagan ones does not send the message "we don't care about Christians getting ripped off." It's saying "the Christian ones are not the rip-offs" (whatever their actual intention is).

True and good points. I had to stop and think (which is a good thing). I was about to say the trick is to not make promises but you are right, there is no difference between a protective amulet ala some saint and say, a gris-gris bag or a charm or spell of some sort .
In fact, isn't it odd that so deep in to our cultural consciousness is the idea of holy interceding being 'normal' ( not too many protesters at Lourdes) that it doesn't raise a brow? However, things like Sweat lodges have to bear great scrutiny and of course, what you just pointed out about occult or metaphysical goods and services.

Huh.

Thanks for that! I go away chastened but wiser for thinking it was just a funny story when indeed, the bias is there.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 08:15:01 pm by carillion »

Aisling

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Re: Etsy nixes magical goods
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2015, 08:42:28 pm »
Quote from: beachglass;176351

However if the result of the policy is that shop A can't sell you a crystal and say it's thought to protect against X, but shop B can sell you a medal of Saint Y that protects against same, then it's definitely discriminatory, and not against the people buying medals.

Even if Etsy's position is that all of these spells/amulets/magical supplies are "rip-offs," allowing the sale of Christian items/services while banning equivalent Pagan ones does not send the message "we don't care about Christians getting ripped off." It's saying "the Christian ones are not the rip-offs" (whatever their actual intention is).

 
This.

The rule as it currently appears on Etsy:
Quote
Any metaphysical service that promises or suggests it will effect a physical change (e.g., weight loss) or other outcome (e.g., love, revenge) is not allowed, even if it delivers a tangible item.


Etsy did something similar a couple years back regarding herbs and claims about metaphysical or folkloric properties. It's just a continuation on the same general theme, which is focused on the claims made about the products rather than the products themselves.  Where it becomes problematic is that they've chosen the word "metaphysical" rather than "religious" in their rule.  

Below is a snippet of what some affected sellers are receiving from Etsy admin, in which they seem to be trying to politely say "We believe that you're a snake-oil salesmen, but as long as you don't call it snake oil, we'll gladly take a cut of the profits":
 
Quote
We recently clarified our policies on spell-related items and removed the categories of Religious Services and Readings and Spells, Rituals and Readings. But we have not banned all metaphysical items, nor are we considering doing so. You may continue to sell astrological charts, tarot readings and other tangible objects, as long as you are not claiming that the objects will affect a physical change or other outcome, such as weight loss, love or revenge.

[snip]

Please know that there is still a place on Etsy for your items. We at Etsy, like you, strongly believe in freedom of thought, expression and religion. That means all religions.
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Lauren

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Re: Etsy nixes magical goods
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2015, 09:22:16 pm »
Quote from: carillion;176329
Are good witches so thin on the ground that people have to resort to buying over-priced spells and charms online? I would have thought that was a niche market well filled by the neo-pagans today. Certainly the stores I've seen were over-priced enough. And of course a 'spell caster' usually lurks nearby to fill the 'metaphysical' demands of the buyer.

People are just lazy ( credulity is another subject).

I would scream discrimination but frankly, this probably cuts down on outright fraud. Or to put it another way, the person buying the christian charms are not as protected from getting ripped off even though they would be put to the test to prove what they bought worked.

http://www.theguardian.com/money/shortcuts/2015/jun/21/etsy-casts-out-vendors-magickal-merchandise

 
I see it both ways. While I believe that anyone with enough sense and belief would certainly take the time to make their own spell/charm/amulet/etc., it's a little sketchy of the site to outright ban such things, especially if they're not banning non-metaphysical items that would give the same result, like Christian amulets that are meant for protection, etc. The fact that they explicitly banned metaphysical items doesn't sit well with me.

beachglass

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Re: Etsy nixes magical goods
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2015, 06:36:39 pm »
Quote from: Aisling;176354
"We believe that you're a snake-oil salesmen, but as long as you don't call it snake oil, we'll gladly take a cut of the profits"


The Wild Hunt had a post about this today; it covers a lot of the same ground as previous articles but they do have statements from Etsy, including this one addressing discriminatory enforcement:

Quote
“Due to the nature of our platform, where anyone may list anything at any time, it is possible that a service may appear for sale on the site before our enforcement teams have a chance to remove it. Members are welcome to flag these items and report them to us; we have a timely review process for all flags.”

 
Which is sort of reasonable, though I don't think the Etsy flagging system is a paragon of efficiency or impartiality. I'm not sure if they rely entirely on member flagging. If so, I hope they considered whether certain flavors of religious/metaphysical items might be more likely to collect flags and whether that's fair.
"The further we go, and older we grow, the more we know, the less we show."  ~ Robert Smith

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